Re: A generic best practice document for NewMexicolegislators

From: Robert Rapplean <robert_at_rapplean_dot_net>
Date: Tue Dec 28 2004 - 18:40:30 CST

There is a clear way to resolve this. State that paper ballots hold
superior sway over electronic ones, such that a displute will be
resolved by the count of paper ballots - unless it can be demostrated
that the paper ballots have in some way been tampered with. That covers
all situations that you've described.

David Mertz wrote:

>> charlie strauss said:
>>
>>> Doug jones has reccomended that neither paper nor electroninc voteshave
>>> primacy in an dispute. Iinstead he reccomends that someone decides
>>> which is most likely to reconstruct the correct record as best as
>>> possible. I agree though it does not simplify the process.
>>
>
> Dec 28, 2004, at 4:51 PM, Kathy Dopp wrote:
>
>> I agree with you and Doug because logic and common sense needs to be
>> applied in any situation.
>> Look at Florida 2000 for instance where ballot spoilage was huge in many
>> opscan precincts. It may easily happen (and "has" happened in America's
>> history) that unethical persons may once in a while manage to throw away
>> or despoil permanent paper records.
>
>
> I'll chime in (again) with the same sentiment. I understand Theresa's
> concern--all things being equal, I'd prefer to look at the paper too.
> Even to the point of saying there's a "strong preference" towards
> basing the canvass on the paper ballots.
>
> But in exceptional circumstances, the paper can also clearly go
> wrong. Kathy mentions the destruction of paper ballots. I'd also
> urge readers to think about the other direction: paper ballots can be
> forged and stuffed into ballot boxes. I've mentioned from time to
> time--as have others--that we can take measures to prevent ballot
> forgery. These measures can be both physical features like special
> stock and watermarks, and also cryptographic features like digital
> signatures on authentic ballots.
>
> Clearly false ballots should not be counted just because they are
> printed on paper. It may well be possible to identify false ballots
> based only on what's the paper. But at times, the electronic records
> will be relevant to establishing forgery of paper ballots; there's
> definitely no reason to rule out such a use of electronic records a
> priori--in fact, doing so is foolish. In fact, the digital signatures
> paper ballots should contain inherently need to be checked with the
> aid of electronic information (not the EBIs per se, however).
>
> The right thing in a given dispute will always depend on context and
> specific forensic results. Yeah, start with the paper and presume its
> priority... but don't stop analysis as soon as you get to that point;
> not if doing other things can reveal and correct improprieties.
>
> Yours, David...
>
> ---
> Keeping medicines from the bloodstreams of the sick; food
> from the bellies of the hungry; books from the hands of the
> uneducated; technology from the underdeveloped; and putting
> advocates of freedom in prisons. Intellectual property is
> to the 21st century what the slave trade was to the 16th.
>
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Received on Fri Dec 31 23:17:21 2004

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